Delta variant 30-100% more transmissible, says UK Covid expert

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Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the scientific pandemic influenza modelling group government advisory panel, said the 21 June proposed reopening in England will be a “really difficult decision”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I think the question the government needs to answer, and I can’t answer this, is: if we show that cases may rise, and of course, hospital admissions and deaths may rise over the coming months, what kind of rise in those the government can cope with to allow society to reopen?

“Of course, if you delay that date then those rises will not be as severe. So, that’s the trade-off the government are going to have to have in terms of if they are willing to open up knowing there may be a rise if they delay that may lessen the rise, but of course then that impacts businesses all around the country, so I think it’s a really difficult decision.”

He said his “hope and belief” was that hospital admissions would not rise on the same scale as they did in January.

Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, said there were encouraging signs vaccines were breaking the link between infections and hospital admissions, as Public Health England announced zero daily reported Covid deaths for the first time since last summer.

Photo: EPA/EFE

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